may 4/REST

Last night, after his run, Scott said, “I think it’s time I get back to following my training plan.” I suppose I should too. I’ve been straying from my “official” plan for weeks. Adding extra miles, running on the days I’m supposed to be resting. So today my plan says I’m supposed to rest and I’m resting!

This morning, while searching for some other running-related topic–I think it was “writing a poem while running a marathon”, has anyone ever done that?— I encountered a poem by Rachel Zucker: Wish You Were Here You Are

wish you were here you are by Rachel Zucker

time isn’t the same for everyone there is
science behind this when you fly into space
you’re not experiencing time at the same rate
as someone tethered to Earth & someone
moving quickly experiences time at a slower rate
even on Earth so as I run through Central Park
at a speed not much faster than walking but slightly
I am shattering fields of time around me
& experiencing time differently from those I pass
last night I saw my son’s adult self &
in the same moment toddler self this really
happened he was playing “Wish You Were Here”
by Pink Floyd on his electric guitar & feeling it
he’s 11 & in between 2 kinds of time on the verge
of worlds I think we are too you & I who are old
young women it’s not all ‘downhill from here’ we are
here you are & I am & this beautiful moment our sons

There’s a lot that I’d like to think and write about this poem, but today I’m struck by her discussion of time while running. Recently, I’ve been thinking about running as almost timeless, when you’re able to access a space where “regular/linear” time doesn’t exist. You’re not experiencing or tracking time; you’re just moving through space. But that doesn’t seem accurate, partly because I’m rarely really not tracking time. Even though I’ve been trying to de-emphasize my pace, I still check it on my watch every mile or so (or more). And also because I’m giving a lot of attention to slowing down. Maybe timelessness is not what I’m aiming for, but a slowing down of time. A slower pace for a more relaxed space?

It’s interesting to contrast Zucker’s pithy portrayal of quick time with Frédérick Gros’ dismissal of speedy time in A Philosophy of Walking:

But haste and speed accelerate time, which passes more quickly, and two hours of hurry shorten a day. Every minute is torn apart by being segmented, stuffed to bursting. You can pile a mountain of things into an hour. Days of slow walking are very long: they make you live longer, because you have allowed every hour, every minute, every second to breathe, to deepen, instead of filling them up by straining the joints (37).

Slow time is different, Gros adds. “Slowness means cleaving perfectly to time, so closely that the seconds fall one by one, drop by drop like the steady dripping of a tap on stone (37)”.

I want to do some more experimental writing about slow time. Maybe a list of things that are slow? or a poem that involves using syncing when you expect sinking, like the sun was syncing?